TX CUISINE Glorified, Refried, And Sauce On The Side

IN DALLAS, CERTAIN DISHES HAVE LONG BEEN ENSHRINED. HERE’S WHERE TO GO TO GENUFLECT.

You’ve followed our championship sports teams from afar, read more than you ever wanted to know about the grassy knoll, and you still remember who shot JR. And now you rind yourself living dangerously close to Southfork. Just how surprised were you to discover that the only horses in town power our Porsche Carreras? Or that there isn’t an oil well on every corner? Admit it. You’ve seen more Gucci loafers than cowboy boots. ■ You’ve also settled in a city that is extremely proud of its culinary heritage. That may sound like an oxymoron to you East Coast city slickers who believe that world cuisine lies literally at your doorstep. But don’t for a minute think you’ve moved into a culinary wasteland-because in reality you’ve hit the mother lode.

To ease your rite of passage into the local dining scene, we have outlined six important culinary steps you must take to become an official Dallasite.

Save the unpacking for later and load up the family. As far as we’re concerned, you’ve never had a decent enchilada. You must be starving.

1 Barbeque

Chances are you think you’ve already had a barbecue experience-the movers are probably unloading your Broil King right now. Bui you haven’t lived until you’ve rolled up your sleeves and wrestled with a rack of smoked baby back ribs in Dallas. The key word here is smoked. Do not, we repeat, do not enter a barbecue pint that doesn’t have a huge pile of mesquite stacked outside the kitchen door because real Dallas barbecue is slowly smoked in a wood-burning pit. Do not try ibis at home. Where to get it: Sonny Bryan’s (multiple locations); Peggy Sue B8Q (214-987-918B); Sammy’s (214-888-9064); North Main BBQ (817-267-9101).

2 Tex Mex

Dallas food is NOT wimp-friendly. – Now thai you live here, you’re just going to have to buck up and eel over your pepper paranoia. Of course Tex-Mex is spicy, but so is Indian. Thai, and Chinese food. Yes it’s failening. but have you ever seen the calorie count for a Porterhouse steak? Don’t jump into a bowl of menudo; approach Tex-Mex slowly with quesadillas. tacos, and nachos. Gradually add small slices of jalapenos to your nachos. try a sour cream chicken enchilada, and before you know it, you’ll be downing a chili relleno without even realizing, it’s a Muffed publano pepper. Where to get it Man’s Rancho Martinez (214-823-5517); Avila’s (214-520-2700);MiCocina {multiple locations); Primo’s (214-220-0510).

(Chicken?)-Fried Steak(Steak?)

ies some time to yet used to the laid factor but pace you’re ready. Ibis quintessential cowboy comfort loud will make yon feel at home on this range. Don’t worry about it being “too spicy” it’s only a steak, pounded beyond recognition, double-dipped in eggs and buttermilk. breaded in Hour, and fried in an iron skillet Cracked-pepper cream gravy adds the perfect Texas truck-stop touch. If you’ve gotten this far. you might as well goon and try a chocolate fried pie. Where to get it: Gennie’s Bishop Grill (214-946-1752); John’s Cafe (214-827-4610); Mama’s Daughter’s Diner (multiple locations); Bubba’s (214-373-6527).

Before you know it you’ll be asking for extra jalapenos and boasting that you now live in the corny dog capital of the world.

Corny Dog 4

What IN Tin. HELL IS \ CORNY DOG, Mil ask? Well, we don’t want to gel into too many specifics here, but basically it’s a hot dog on a slick that lias been coaled with cornmeal and deep-fried. The bad news is thai you cat) only have a true Fletcher’s corny dug experience during the Texas State Fair, and in Dallas, we take oar Fair food seriously. Some counties won’t allow you to vote in a local election until you’ve come home from the Midway with a mustard-stained shin and an aching belly. Luckily you can warm up to the task by taking home a pack of Fletcher’s frozen pups from your local grocery store. Where to get it: Fletcher’s Corny Dogs-the real things-are only available at the State Fair of Texas, The rest of the year, try your grocer’s freezer.

5 Chili

Repeat 100 times: Chili is rut- official state dish of Texas, not Angie Harmon. And the first thing you should know about a good bowl of Dallas chili is (hat it should be thick with meal-no beans. If staring down at your first bowl makes you sweat, just think of it as meat slew with a litlle ground round steak seasoned with tomatoes, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Luit it with a spoon, or fold it into a fresh Hour tortilla, but always have an iee-cold longneck ready. Whereto get it Stan’s Blue Note (214-827-1977); Tolbert’s (214-953-1353); First &, Ten (214-692-6601); Casa Navarro (214-357-0141).

Hamburger 6

WHO SERVES THE BEST BURGER IS THE MOST COMMON COCKTAIL DEBATE in town, Don’t be surprised to overhear diners discussing the meat-to-bun ratio with all lite seriousness of a Wall Street banker evaluating an IPC). Everybody is an expert and folks fiercely defend tfaeir favorites. And the fact is, the city is loaded with great burgers-not the half-pound-on-a-cold-fancy-brcad-piekle-spear-on-tlie-side kind, but the sizzling-off-an-old-grill-with-the-bun-riding-on-top–wrapped-in-wax-paper kind of grease burger that treats a pickle right-sliced, Where to get it: Rose’s (214-361-6991); Keller’s {214-3&7 3572); Prince of Hamburgers (214-526-9081); Dairy-Ette (214-327-9983).

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